travel novice

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Goodness1. Show Goodness1's posts

    travel novice

    We have booked many trips through Expedia with good luck (fingers crossed so far). For our honeymoon, we used a travel agent as we had more detailed plans and wanted tips and recommendations.

    It all worked out, and I think we got a good deal.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    travel novice

    Do you have AAA? I had a great experience with one of their travel agents. We got something just perfect for us that i know we would have missed out on had we not gone through Janet.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    travel novice

    Go see a travel agent. I wouldn't chance overseas travel, esp honeymoon travel, to DIY. We actually saved money using a travel agent for our honeymoon. If the flight gets cancelled or you miss a connection, an agent can trouble shoot for you. There is no way I would have not used an agent for planning our honeymoon. HTH.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie18. Show pinkkittie18's posts

    travel novice

    I've booked through Orbitz and didn't have any trouble.
    ETA: We booked our whole Amsterdam honeymoon online. We found it easy and saved a lot of money by bundling air fare and hotel. However, if you want to book activities like tours and such in advance also, I agree with ALF, go to an agent.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerbride09. Show summerbride09's posts

    travel novice

    I've booked many flights in the past, mostly with travelocity. Never had a problem. However, for the honeymoon I didn't want to take any chances and we're working with AAA. So far so good!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    travel novice

    p.s. part of the decision on whether to use a travel agent or not will depend on whether:
    (a) you are looking for a package tour.
    (b) whether you enjoy planning this sort of thing.

    I am almost never looking for package tourism and I LOVE planning travel, plus I'm usually up for an adventure, so I don't mind doing the whole thing myself. I like to have a lot of control, and research all the hotels and look up all the options, etc. For my Italy trip, I focused on a lot of smaller hotels and b&b's, and found great deals that way.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    travel novice

    I don't know if this is entirely related, but if you haven't flown in 12 years, and you're planning to go to Italy, make sure all your passport is up to date. Some airlines won't let you board if it's going to expire within six months, and a passport can take a couple of months to arrive - it's much better to avoid paying rush fees if at all possible.

    I used Let's Go Europe when I went to Italy, and it worked out well (but I needed one book I could use in different countries). Depending on whether you're planning on staying in one place or travelling, if you decide to DIY, be sure to look at Eurorail passes. They can take a few weeks to arrive (although not as long as a passport).

    As a side note - if you find yourself with a layover in London, make sure it is a L-O-N-G layover. The airport is enormous and confusing. I had to go outside, catch a bus, go through customs.... and my layover was only 45 minutes. There was no possible way to make it, even if we hadn't had to circle for an hour before being allowed to land. :)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from heatherv1211. Show heatherv1211's posts

    travel novice

    Hi! I never go anywhere that involves flying, so I have not booked a flight in probably 12 years... I don't really know where to begin. Well, I mean, I know I can look on Expedia/Travelocity/etc, but I'm wondering if any of you have specific recommendations/good experiences/bad experiences when booking a honeymoon?? We're hoping to go to Italy, but only if we can be price savvy...

    thanks for any advice!
    heather
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    travel novice

    I love to travel, and don't really believe in travel agents. Here is my advice for resources for travel in general, and travel in Italy specifically:

    1. Read the Rick Steves' guidebook for travel in Italy. It is awesome. My mom used it to plan a vacation there last year, recommended it to me, and I have used it to plan my whole honeymoon. I also read the Lonely Planet guide, and it didn't hold a candle to Rick Steve's in terms of organization of information and overall helpfulness.

    2. kayak.com is your friend for finding good fares. It compares rates across a bunch of major airline websites and discount websites.

    3. tripadvisor.com is the absolute best way to find out if a hotel is going to be good. Read the reviews and take a careful look at any traveler photos. Make sure you take the extra step of mapping the hotel relative to the local attractions you are interested in and the public transportation options. Some hotels that are raved about on tripadvisor may not be convenient to what you want to see, so watch out for that.

    4. Lastly, general advice for booking plane travel: avoid the last flight of the day, if possible. Also avoid flying with a carrier who only has one flight a day to your destination. We chose to fly into Rome instead of Naples so that if our flight is cancelled, or we miss a connection, we have other options for getting to our destination, and are less likely to get stuck in Madrid.

    ...good luck! let us know if you have other questions :).
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    travel novice

    lucy has a good point about london Heathrow. I almost missed a connection there last year, despite a 2 hour layover, because I had to go through an insane security screening process even though I was just changing planes from one international flight to another.

    and ALF has a point about checking out prices with a travel agent too. I would just see what you can get on kayak.com before calling the agent so you can make sure you are getting a good deal. and i wouldn't be too nervous about booking without an agent, as long as you stay alert while you travel and know who you need to talk to and what you need to ask for in case of any hiccups.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    travel novice

    I agree with you kargiver. AAA is great to work with in so many ways.We have been members for ages and have used their services many times. Plus you get passport pix for free. It is almost worth to become a member if you are planning a trip.


    [Quote]Do you have AAA? I had a great experience with one of their travel agents. We got something just perfect for us that i know we would have missed out on had we not gone through Janet.[/Quote]
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    travel novice

    Yeah, I would say that Rick Steve's strengths seem more in the hotel and sightseeing arenas than the restaurants. Restaurants are the one thing that Lonely Planet seems to have better coverage of. Rick Steve has some negotiated discounts at the hotels he recommended, and we have saved some money booking this way and mentioning his book. (I always check out the hotel reviews online first to make sure his recommendations make sense for us and get good reviews.)
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from heatherv1211. Show heatherv1211's posts

    travel novice

    Thank you all so much for your advice! I do have AAA - I will contact them. And I got my passport renewed last year... I forget why - I know there was a reason. I am obsessed with Tripadvisor (I have to quickly close my internet browser when my boss walks by). I have never been steered wrong by the reviewers. Thank you for all of the book recommendations.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brighton1. Show Brighton1's posts

    travel novice

    We're not using a travel agent for our trip to Europe, but we travel a lot, so we're comfortable booking it ourselves. In your case, it might be helpful to meet with someone. We're flying into Venice and found the best deal on Swiss Air with a layover in Zurich, but there are direct flights to Milan. Everyone has great suggestions so far. My favorite travel sites are Kayak, Tripadvisor, and Frommers.com. Check out the B&B section on Tripadvisor if you're looking to save money. More often than not, they're way cheaper than hotels and you get breakfast :-)

    I DID miss a flight at Heathrow once and it sucked! Apparently there's only one Heathrow to Inverness flight per day, so we ended up taking the bus to Gatwick to continue on our journey.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    travel novice

    I agree, it was worth my membership fee for the year ($50) for Janet's services. Free passport photos? I missed out on that deal! Oh, well. We'll get that one in 2018, hopefully for our 10th anniversary trip to Aruba!!!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    travel novice

    [Quote]p.s. part of the decision on whether to use a travel agent or not will depend on whether:
    (a) you are looking for a package tour.
    (b) whether you enjoy planning this sort of thing.

    I am almost never looking for package tourism and I LOVE planning travel, plus I'm usually up for an adventure, so I don't mind doing the whole thing myself. I like to have a lot of control, and research all the hotels and look up all the options, etc. For my Italy trip, I focused on a lot of smaller hotels and b&b's, and found great deals that way.[/Quote]

    Actually, we did tons of research and figured out exactly where we wanted to go before going to the travel agent. We just used the agent to do the booking for us. We did all of the leg work and didn't go to a typical Sandals locale. And we didn't do a package tour. We just picked a resort, but got a great deal on airfare, etc through the agent. If there had been any problem w/ the flights [and so many airlines seem to be cancelling or overbooking flights these days], we wanted to be able to call an agent and have it taken care of w/o having to worry.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from wendy98. Show wendy98's posts

    travel novice

    We booked our Italy HM via our AAA travel agent. We were able to get our flights, train tickets and book some tours and our hotels via them. We had a mixed of packaged tours as well as time to do our own thing.

    I did most of the planning myself via that website that our agent gave us, it allowed us to pick hotels at various price points that were acceptable to us. And I was able to easily see what a tour offered etc. I mainly used my Let's Go Italy book, it is geared a bit more to the college (or recent grad) that doesn't have a lot of cash to spare. We had another book that I cannot remember off the top of my head, but it wasn't a Rick Steve's book. I hear his are good but the common complaint that I heard was any restaurant that he mentions is always packed. My DH and really just picked places at random that looked good to us and we were never let down same with just going with the house wine.

    A cost saver for us was that our hotels all included a breakfast in the room price, and for lunches we often went to the local grocery store or market and bought bread and fruit etc.

    Tips (1)Rome if you go to the Vatican, get a tour so that you will spend less time in lines and because there is so much there it is great to have a guide pointing things out and giving you some history.
    (2) Florence, Michelangelo's David is at the Accademia and that was the only thing that we thought was worth it so you can skip it and see practice/replicas in the Plaza outside of the Uffizi. IF you do go then it is recomennded that you make a reservation or get there really early.
    (3) Venice is great, remember your room will be crazy tiny and up several flights of stairs. You really don't need more than 2 days there in my opinion, and you should get out to see the Murano (glass) and Burano (lace) as well.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    travel novice

    [Quote]Thank you all so much for your advice! I do have AAA - I will contact them. And I got my passport renewed last year... I forget why - I know there was a reason. I am obsessed with Tripadvisor (I have to quickly close my internet browser when my boss walks by). I have never been steered wrong by the reviewers. Thank you for all of the book recommendations.[/Quote]

    Cool, if you go through AAA, they give you a little booklet with everything you need for the whole trip. All we needed in our hands the whole day was that booklet and our passport/IDs. If you call the travel number it goes to the RI office - ask for Janet. She really made us feel like her only clients and spent considerable time finding out about US and what we were looking for in our vacation. She didn't have a one-size-fits-all attitude at all, and I know we benefitted from her wisdom.
     

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